Hi! Thank you for stopping by today! My name is Bronwyn. I am a follower of Jesus, wife of a Marine, and mother of 2 autistic boys. We have been a homeschooling family for going on 7 years now and loving it! I also love to read, cook, bake, and walk.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thank you for your prayers!

Thank you so much for praying for Christian. We just got home from the hospital.  Christian did well and everyone there was wonderful to him.  He is super out of it still from the anesthesia.  He walked in the house laid down on the couch and went back to sleep. The surgeon who repaired his ear is also a ear, nose and throat specialist.  He did a great job on his ear and also did a complete exam on his ears, nose, and throat while he was asleep.  That was nice because it  is impossible for doctors to do much when he is awake.  He is concerned about one of his eardrums so he is going to put him under again in a couple of months and check that again.  It looks might he might have some scarring although we don't know from what. He isn't one to poke anything in his ears. His ear looks really good where they did the stitches today.  He doesn't seem interested in it either which is great.  The put in stitches that will dissolve so they won't have to take them back out.  I am real happy about that.  They also put him on antibiotics to speed up the healing and Tylenol with codeine for any pain he might have.  I don't think he is much pain but it is nice if he needs it.  I am so tired from 9 hours at the hospital today after 3 hours there last night.  I really hope this makes sense. 
I just wanted to let everyone know how much we appreciated your prayers today.  It went a lot better than I thought I would and I know that was definitely a God thing! 

Please Pray for Christian

This is going to be very brief as I am exhausted.  Christian fell tonight in the bathroom and cut his ear pretty bad.  We spent three hours in the ER.  It has stopped bleeding now but because it is cut straight through the cartlidge they want to put in stitches in the morning.  Because of his autism they are going to have to put him under to put in the stitches.  We have to be back at the hospital at 6:30 am and he is all wound up still from the experience.  If you read this yet tonight or tomorrow morning could you please pray for us.  I know he will be fine but it is still going to be very hard on him. Thank you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Wedding!

We had a very special wedding in our family last week!   It was a wedding that symbolized forgiveness and lasting love.  It symbolizes the kind of love that looks beyond past hurts.  It is the kind of love that binds two people together even when things get really tough.
The special couple  that got married last week have known each other since they were children which in this case is a very long time.  The bride is 79 years old and the groom is 83.  This wedding represents a second chance for them as they were married once before.  In 1949 this twosome ran off to elope. She was Lutheran and he was Catholic and they could not be married in church.  So they drove to another state to be wed and he sang to her along the way.
This young couple raised up a family of seven children.  They worked hard and sacrificed to give their family the best.  However as happens to so many couples along the way they  made mistakes and there was a lot of hurt.  Long after their children had grown and they had many grandchildren this couple was left with each other.  Sometimes in the midst of past hurts people feel as though there can be no healing and no future.  In 1993, the once young and hopeful bride felt she had come to that place and they were divorced.
God works in mysterious ways however and sometimes he works through great pain to bring us to a place where we realize that our love for someone is stronger than our hurt and our anger.  About three and a half years ago our groom was in serious condition.  He had a clogged artery which was causing him to have strokes.  His doctor had tried several operations but was unable to complete them because the patient wasn't strong enough.  Our groom is the type of man who has been young and strong and struggles greatly with being old and weak.  His once young bride looked upon him with love and knew he needed someone to help him and care for him.  God graciously granted this couple a second chance when he finally allowed the surgery to succeed.  He has been given another opportunity to love a women who through her forgiveness has come back to unselfishly devote herself to his care.
I learned of this wedding to be only shortly before it happened and I was unable to attend because I must be here with my boys and they live faraway.  I am no less blessed by it however as these are two people I love very much.  I am grateful for this renewal of their devotion to one another.  I know it is something they almost didn't have.  I am thrilled they have each other to love until they pass from this earth.  I thank God for their story and for his wonderful gift to me- my grandparents!
 These are the pictures from last week as they were rewed in their home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

All Glory, Laud, and Honor- Our First Hymn Study

We have started hymn studies in our homeschool.  My boys both have a big appreciation for music.  Last year Tyler's Bible curriculum had a hymn component included but this year we were really missing that.  I had read this post over at Jimmie's Collage and thought that something similar would work really well for us.
Since we had just celebrated Easter I thought we would start with the book Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart.  All the books in the Hymns for Kid's books are great and include the CDs with them too.
 We have been using these great notebooking pages from Jimmie of Jimmie's Collage to explore the vocabulary and verses that go along with our hymn.  I made our own notebooking pages also to explore the biography of the hymn author and for Tyler to write the lyrics out for copywork.  We are using the books Then Sings My Soul and Then Sings My Soul Book 2 for the stories of the hymn writers.  These are fascinating books and the stories of the hymn writers are truly inspiring.  We are storing all of our hymn sheets in a three ring binder.
The first hymn in the book is All Glory, Laud, and Honor.  It is a beautiful hymn about Palm Sunday. It was written by Theodulph, bishop of Orleans.  He wrote this text around 820 while he was imprisoned at Angers, France, for conspiring against King Louis the Pious. Based on Matthew 21:1-11 (and similar passages in Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12), the text was originally written for a Palm Sunday procession.  We love this hymn and look forward to studying another hymn next week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mini Lime Cheesecakes

I originally made these for St. Patrick's Day because they are so cute and green.  We called them little Leprechaun Pies. :)  They are wonderful anytime however and would be great for a spring or summer treat.  They are super easy to make!

Mini Lime Cheesecakes
2 packages of 6 Mini Graham Crackers Ready Crusts
2 beaten egg whites
1- eight ounce package of cream cheese softened
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
green food coloring
1- six ounce can Minute Maid frozen limeade concentrate

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Brush the crusts with the beaten egg white and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake crusts for 5 minutes.
3. Beat the cream cheese until soft in a medium bowl.
4. Add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy.
5. Add the limeade and beat until smooth. Stir in the food color until you have a nice shade of green.
6. Evenly fill the pie shells.
7. Place the pies on the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 1 hour.  Serve chilled. 

These are one of my husbands faves.  Hope you enjoy them!  

Unexpected Lessons Learned in our Study of Russia

We have been studying Russia here and have been really enjoying it.  It has been a long study as there is much to learn.  Russia has always intrigued me.  They have such amazing architecture, beautiful art, and powerful music.  My favorite thing about Russia,however, has always been the literature written there.  I love to read Tolstoy and the older authors but I am equally taken with new writers like Boris Akunin.  I appreciate the complexity of the characters in Russian stories.  They are often formed through the combination of great hardships and strong spirits that yearn not only to survive but to find beauty in life.  When we started our study I was really anxious to share this with Tyler.
He had a great time listening to Peter and the Wolf and making matryoshka dolls to go with the story.
 We have used several  really great resource books along with our study. The first is Russia (Enchantment of the World. Second Series).
 The second is Eyewitness Books Russia.
We also used the Usborne book First Thousand Words in Russian.
Incidentally Christian was really taken with this last book.
This got me to thinking maybe he doesn't talk because we are trying to teach him English and he wants Russian. Winky
Tyler has been doing lots of notebooking and map work to go along with our study as well.  We found some great printables at homeschoolshare.
By far our favorite part of this whole unit has been our read aloud of  Angel on the Square.

It is a historical fiction story that takes place in the years between 1913 to 1918.  This is the time of the reign of the last czar of Russia.  Katya, the girl in the story, is the daughter of the lady in waiting to the empress and therefore lives with the czar and his family which allows the reader to see not only the rule of the czar but his tender interactions with his family.
Tyler likes to label characters in his mind as the good guy or the bad guy.  There is not a lot of room for in betweens in Tyler's autistic world.  As we read through this story he was confused as to how to categorize the characters as many of them had complex relationships and made varying decisions.  He at first decided the Czar must be a good man because he loved his family and treated them well and was applauded when he rode through the streets.  Later when he found out some of the injustices he allowed he decided he must be the bad guy.  Only to change his mind again when he was exiled to Siberia and he felt sorry for him.  It was great to see Tyler attempt to reason this through.  There was another character Misha, who is a college student and a revolutionary.  Tyler was at first disgusted that he would be so opposed to following the rules.  He then liked him when he found out he wanted to help the poor.  Katya in the story is confused like Tyler and doesn't know how to feel about the people around her either.  This helped Tyler to see that he wasn't alone in his feelings.  He was able to understand in the end that it was okay just to take it all in and understand they were all humans that made good and bad decisions.  Understanding the people in the story didn't require us to label them.
I really like the unexpected lesson this story and our study of Russia and all it's interesting figures has brought about.  It shows me that he is starting to develop more complex thinking.  It shows me that there is room for learning beyond the accumulation of facts.  Yea for progress!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


We enjoyed what I think is officially our new favorite family pastime today.  Have you ever tried geocaching?  It is a lot of fun!  For those of you who are unfamiliar with geocaching it is like a treasure hunt with a GPS to guide you to your destination.  It is played outdoors and is enjoyed all around the world.   According to geocaching.com there are 1,031,429 active geocaches around the world. Geocaches are hidden boxes that contain a log with which you can sign in and tell others that you found the cache.  There are also small treasures in the box.  You can take a treasure and leave one behind for someone else.  You can register for free on geocaching.com and locate caches in your area.  They are also sorted by difficulty and several other factors such as child friendliness.  You can also maintain a log of your finds there and share your experiences with others! 
We chose some caches in our area today that were located close together.  I was really surprised to see how many caches there are in our city alone.  It is kind of fun to think of all these hidden boxes out there that you never even knew about.  Anyways we drove over to this great park by the river that we didn't even know existed.  Incidentally I think that another great aspect of geocaching is exploring new places you haven't been to before.  We used the GPS to find the location of the first cache but we never actually found the cache itself.  I was feeling a bit discouraged as this particular cache was rated as easy.  We tried the second one which was also at the same park and found it very quickly.  I was really excited!  I have always liked mysteries.
 Our first cache. :)
Tyler enjoyed opening up the cache with Tim and signing into the logbook.  He had brought a bag of small treasure with him and they left a small pirate scope in the cache.  He took out a small plastic cross.
There are a couple more caches in the area where we were but we decided to save those for another day.  We are pretty proud of the one we found for today.  We enjoyed the family time together and exploring the park.  If you have never been geocaching before I encourage you to try it out.  I know we will be doing a lot more of it in the future.
Before I go I wanted to share this sign with you.  We were amused by it.  Last time we checked ducks were birds.  Hmm?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Much Needed Break

I am sorry to have been gone from blogging for so long.  Thank you for being patient with me and I am sorry to have caused anyone concern. Everyone here is doing wonderful.   I needed to adjust some things in my life and especially in my daily schedule.  I have always done my school planning and blogging at night after the kids are in bed and I am waiting for Christian to go to sleep.  However I often end up spending a lot of time on the computer jumping from blog to blog and looking up this and that and I really end up being a lot less productive then I would like.  I also tend to stay up way too late and journey into the kitchen to snack way too much.  It is frustrating for me because there is so much I want to pack into a day and I never seem to have enough time.  Of course the first thing that gets neglected is taking care of myself.  I needed desperately to change some of my habits.  I decided first of all to go to bed at night rather than staying up at the computer.  I can't go to sleep because it still takes Christian forever to fall asleep and I must listen for him but I can lay in bed and read my bible on the Kindle.  This also takes away the frustration of trying to find a quiet part of the day where I can read and pray.  The truth is that there are just never those perfect quiet moments around here.  It is so helpful too that I am removed in proximity from the kitchen.  I have stopped eating for the sake of eating or in all honesty sometimes the comfort of it when I am stressed.  I have started also to take sometime for myself each night after dinner to walk on the treadmill.  This has been amazing for me.  It really helps me unwind and I feel so much more energetic during the day.  I am up to 45 minutes a day now which is about 2.75 miles at the pace I am at.  I have lost about 23 pounds in the last month too which it was not really my objective to lose weight but it is a nice side benefit.  :)  I feel like these are some positive changes and they are things I want to keep up with.  I do want to continue blogging also.  I just need to make sure I take care of myself so I can be the wife, mom, and teacher God made me to be.  So please be patient with me while I try to figure out where to fit in time to blog. 
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